Remarks by Mr. Miguel Moratinos
The High Representative for UNAOC
The International Day of Human Fraternity
4 February 2022
Distinguished delegates and eminent religious leaders and faith actors,
At the outset, I wish to thank His Excellency Amb Osama Abdel Khalek, the Permanent Representative of Egypt and Her Excellency Ambassador Lana Nusseibah, the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates for partnering with UNAOC for the second year in organizing this event celebrating the International Day of Human Fraternity.
Advancing the values embodied in human fraternity is very much needed in our world today in which we witness deep-seated discrimination, acts of intolerance and hate crimes persist against people simply because of their religion or belief, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
Old and new conflicts continue to rage posing a threat to international peace and security.
The pandemic exploited inequalities. It is no coincidence, then, that we see an upsurge in racism, extremism and nationalism.
In all this, social media platforms have a multiplier effect, tipping communities against each other by disseminating lies, hate speech and conspiracy theories.
Against this backdrop of world affairs, we are inspired by religious leaders and faith actors when they stand up against such vile acts and take action.
Standing in solidarity together, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed El Tayeb are leading by example. The Document of Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” which they co-authored and co-signed in February 2019.. sends a strong message of mutual respect, compassion, and peace.
In recognition of this message, the international community came together and adopted the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/75/200 on 21 December 2020 proclaiming February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity to be observed every year.
In relevance, I also draw inspiration from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the magna carta of all humankind –
It states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.
For hundreds of years, the prophets and religious messengers throughout history have preached a similar message of peace, love and fraternity.
It is important to translate words into action.
I was, therefore, very pleased to meet in person and take part in the discussions between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity this past December in New York.
My office stands ready to walk to implement the Human Fraternity blueprint working closely with the committee, member states and relevant stakeholders.
In today’s spirit, let us renew our commitment to working together in solidarity to rebuild a better world where there are many cultures and one humanity.
I thank you.